- Make sure the market wants your product
- Be the person or customer you want to have
- Sales is a learned art / never follow up with customers
- Social Media is largely a waste of time
- Create a routine and stick to it
Earlier this year I had a chance to check out Sam Oven’s Consulting Accelerator course. I had heard a lot about the course through Sam, his clients, and reviews I read on the Internet.
So I was excited to check out the program and see what it had to offer. I found the program to be well put-together. It’s sequenced over six weeks and meant to go through in chronological order.
Sam’s course covers a wide range of topics, including psychology, sales, marketing, and how to get the best out of yourself. His program is meant to take a person with no consulting experience to a paid consulting expert in six weeks. Of course, some get there sooner and some later.
Sam’s course is filled with dozens of brilliant nuggets of wisdom. I could probably fill a 150-page book with all that information. But I don’t have time to write a book.
So I’ll do the next best thing and give you the five biggest takeaways I got from the Consulting Accelerator course. These five awesome concepts stood out the most to me. I think you’ll find them interesting and helpful as well.
Make Sure The Market Wants Your Product
This concept is almost too simple to put in this article. Everyone knows a business cannot exist unless customers want the service or product offered.
However, this piece of wisdom goes unheeded quite often by entrepreneurs and startups. Many failed businesses learned this concept the hard way.
Sam learned this concept by failure too. In the first year of business, at age 21, he lost $30,000 and failed at three separate businesses he launched.
In one of them, Sam tried to create a social network, but it fell flat on its face. He thought it was a fantastic idea and put a lot of time into creating it, but nobody wanted to use it.
Before and during working on it, he asked his friends what they thought of the idea. They all agreed with him, saying it was a great idea. But what Sam didn’t realize is that his friends were only agreeing with him because they were his friends.
After these three failures, Sam began to rethink his strategy for business. It was at that point he decided to take a different tact. The new tact would be to find out what the market wants first and then create the product or service later.
This worked out well for Sam. He talked to people in different markets and ultimately found a problem he could create a solution for. He discovered that property managers faced a seemingly unsolvable problem in their industry.
When a property was vacated, the property managers had to go through the long and tedious process of filing a report, including taking pictures of the vacant dwelling. This was a source of pain and frustration for them.
This gave Sam a brilliant idea. He would come up with an app that would allow property managers to complete their report with pictures in about five minutes. When he proposed the idea to them, the property managers were thrilled said they would buy it.
But that still didn’t mean the idea would take off. Sam believes an idea or sale is only valid if customers actually pay for it. So when Sam presold the app to a couple of property managers, he knew he had a financially viable idea.
Sam then created the app for less than $5,000 with designers in India and went on to sell the app across New Zealand, where he was living and where he’s from. The app was called Snap Inspect, and Sam eventually sold the company to focus on consulting.
The lesson I learned from Sam’s story is that it’s not enough to like an idea yourself. Even hearing positive opinions from friends and family is not enough.
You need to talk to the market and see what it wants. This means talking to people on the phone or in person first, before starting a business.
Once you see that the market wants your idea, the only way to know if it’s viable is if customers take out their wallets and pay you. Until money is transferred, no matter what customers say, the idea is a failure.
It’s the same principle in sales. A customer can tell you they love your service and string you along, but the absence of an immediate “yes” is always a “no” for Sam.
So before you start your next business, talk to the market and see if people really want what you have to offer. The answer may surprise you. Remember, there are a graveyard full of failed businesses that thought they were the next Facebook, Amazon, or Apple.
Be The Person or Customer You Want To Have
This concept was a revelation for me. It may be for you as well. I’ll explain what Sam means.
Basically, however you are as a person or customer will be reflected in your own customers. For example, if you’re the type of person to always ask for a discount, your customers will always ask you for discounts.
If you happen to be a disagreeable person and treat customer service reps poorly, then the same fate will befall you. Your customers will act the same way towards you.
Now I know this crosses the border of business sense into the realm of the metaphysical, but I do believe it. It’s very much a rule of karma. If you treat others well, they’ll treat you well.
Sam states that whatever you want in your own life, be that person first. For example, if you are an honest person, always treat your customers right, and do what’s best for them. You can then expect to work with great customers.
However, if you’re dishonest, cheat customers, and do only what’s best for you, bad customers will find their way to you. I truly believe this because I see it in my own business.
I’ve been operating an ecommerce business for 15 years. I treat customers with the best intentions in mind and put them first. I’m patient, respectful and truthful. As a result, I’d say 98% of my customers are easy to get along with, patient, and appreciate my business.
There will always be a couple of people that are misaligned, rude, and difficult to deal with. But overall, I feel I’m very lucky to have the type of customers I do. And I don’t think it’s random chance it happened this way.
Another example Sam gave was of him streaming a movie for free on an airplane. There was no way to pay at the time, so he streamed the movie in flight and watched it.
As soon as he landed and had the opportunity, he went to Amazon and bought the movie. Now, I don’t know anyone who would do that unless they loved the movie and wanted it in their collection.
Sam never intended to watch the movie again, but he knew that if he didn’t pay for the movie, the same fate could befall him. People might download his courses for free somewhere and not pay. To prevent that from happening, Sam paid for the movie.
This is a rather odd way to look at the world. But at the same time, it makes sense. Sam believes, as quantum physics suggests, that everything is connected, and every action has a consequential effect.
I guess I intuitively knew this but never quite thought about it the way Sam proposes in his course. I grew up believing that you should ask for discounts – that you should always try to get the most for the least.
But then it hit me. Sam’s argument makes perfect sense. If you don’t want your own customers always asking for discounts, you can’t be the type of person always asking for a discount yourself.
This new way of seeing the world has changed me. I realize that it’s not enough to be kind, honest, and a good person. I also need to be the kind of person or customer I want in my own business and life.
Think about this the next time you try to cheat the system, be dishonest in your business dealings, or don’t put your customer’s interests first.
Sales Is A Learned Art / Don’t Chase Customers
I really liked Sam’s videos on sales training. If you never saw Sam speak, you might have a vision of him as a slick, fast-talking salesman who imposes himself on his customers.
But that’s not the case at all. Sam is actually introverted, shy, and has a soft-spoken, calm elocution that doesn’t befit the quintessential sales type.
So how did Sam transform himself from a shy boy living in his parent’s garage, too afraid to pick up the phone to call prospects, to someone who sold millions of dollars of products and courses?
Like many solutions Sam finds, he had to think outside the box. He ultimately came up with a sales strategy that worked for him (and his many consulting clients). He practiced it over a thousand times, refined it, and perfected it to a tee.
The sales script and strategy he lays out in his Consulting Accelerator course is the result of that. It’s a brilliant piece of information that is designed to sell and close on the spot.
Sam believes great salespeople are made, not born. It’s a skill just like any other. I personally believed from early on that you need to have a certain personality for sales. That great salespeople were just naturals. Sam’s belief changed my opinion of that.
Now, I can see how almost anyone can learn to be a great salesman. It’s all about practice, continually refining, and wanting to get better.
One of Sam’s methods for improving his salesmanship consisted of recording all his sales calls. He would then replay them to find the places that worked and didn’t.
I had never thought of doing that. It’s actually a great idea. When you combine that idea with the awesome script he wrote, you can see how even the shyest of people can learn to become effective sales closers.
Another cool concept I learned from Sam is completely contrary to what I had learned in sales. For the past two decades, I’ve been told that I need to follow up with customers – that most customers only buy after being asked 3-5 times.
Sam disputed that claim. He thinks it pointless to chase customers and follow up with them. He holds this belief for a few reasons, which I’ll detail.
First, if the customer does not say yes and pay you on the spot, it’s a no. Following up with the customer is not going to change their mind. You had the chance to persuade them on the sales call and didn’t. Following up later on won’t alter the customer’s opinion.
Second, it takes too much time to follow up with customers. It’s far better to go on to the next customer and learn from experience.
Third, even if you do convert a follow-up customer, it’s not the kind of customer you want. In Sam’s experience, these customers often turn out to be problematic and end up consuming valuable time.
After reflecting on my experience in sales, I must admit Sam’s correct. In my experience, very few prospects ever convert to customers if a purchase is not initially made.
I can give you a recent example of this. Besides being a writer and ecommerce owner, I’m also a tennis coach – check out my other blog.
Recently one of my best students recommended me to his friend. His friend texted me and we scheduled a lesson on a Sunday morning. Something came up the night before and the client had to reschedule for the following Sunday. “Alright, that’s fine,” I thought.
The next Sunday, the client wanted to push the lesson back an hour at the last minute. I told the client I couldn’t do it but had time in the afternoon. The client said let’s just do next Sunday. Fine.
The following week I confirmed for our morning lesson and the client said he was busy that morning. That made three straight times the client either couldn’t make it or wanted to reschedule the time.
The old me would have tried again to schedule with the client. I had grown up reading Brian Tracy and Zig Ziggler. I thought being relentless in sales was a virtue.
I didn’t mind contacting someone a dozen times to make a sale. I would call, leave messages, and send emails. But now I realize that it’s better to conduct business Sam’s way and go on the next customer.
If you’re someone who spends a lot of time following up, give Sam’s theory a try. It’s only been a while, but I now have a sense of liberation knowing that I don’t need to follow up with every customer anymore.
The close either happens during the sales process or not at all. That’s why it’s so important to work from a script, practice over and over, and refine the process.
Social Media Is Largely A Waste Of Time
Spend 90% Of your time building a valuable product or service instead of chasing a social media following
For the past five or so years, marketing pundits have been extolling the virtues of social media. We hear people like Gary Vaynerchuk telling his audience that posting on social media continuously is critical to success.
We also hear it from other marketing experts and pundits. We’re almost programmed to equate subscribers and viewers with money and success.
We think more content we post, the more attention we get, and the more money we make.
However, Sam Ovens takes a different tact. He believes posting on social media is largely a waste of time. He also believes consuming social media is a total waste of time.
I wondered how Sam could say those things considering he has a youtube channel with over 50 videos and 30,000 subscribers. He also does Instagram stories and posts on Facebook.
Sam explained his rationale like this. You need to post just enough content on social media for people to see and know you’re real.
Sure, social media can generate sales, but the amount of effort it takes to post on it continuously is not worth the time according to Sam.
This is especially true when you consider it comparison to paid traffic.
For this reason, Sam keeps his efforts at posting on social media to a minimum – perhaps taking up only 5-10% of his time. He advises all his clients and audience to do the same.
Sam’s advice is completely contradictory to what most of the experts have been preaching. And it’s contradictory to what I thought would work for me.
So what would be the alternative? Sam believes paid traffic is really the engine that drives his business. Paid traffic generates most of his sales with referrals and social media trailing behind.
However, that model doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why Sam believes in selling a service or product with a high enough profit margin. He goes over all this in his Consulting Accelerator course, plus he shows how to master Facebook paid ads to generate substantial profits.
I definitely agree with him that posting every day on social media is largely a waste. If you calculate the time and energy it takes to make a sale, the numbers are very poor.
Still, I’m not 100 percent certain Sam’s model will work for everyone. However, I’m willing to give it a try in my own life and business.
If you’re not posting on social media, then how do you spend your time? The flip side of this concept is to spend at least 90 percent of your time on creating a valuable product or service.
Sam believes that you should build the best product in your industry. That means pouring most of your time into it and reinvesting the profits into your company, a la Jeff Bezos and Amazon.
Likewise, if you offer a service, it should be the best service in your industry. Once word gets out how good you are, it will spread, and customers will be lining up to buy.
That’s how Sam built his business. He allocates 90% of his time into his two courses (Consulting Accelerator and Up-Level) and has a third product (the most expensive of the three – I think it’s called Quantum) where he meets in person with his clients.
I do agree with Sam here. You need to build something extremely valuable to the marketplace for people to buy it. It can’t just be mediocre or good enough.
In my own life I want to apply this. I am going to change my philosophy and put 90 percent of my time into making a great product and allocate only 10 percent for social media and marketing. I’ll let you know how it works six months from now!
Sam generates 30 million in sales every year, so I doubt he’s wrong. If you correlate those numbers with his 30,000 subscribers on youtube, he’s generating a million dollars in sales for every 1,000 subscribers.
Now, that’s very misleading. This is because the subscribers really have very little to do with his earnings.
I know of many other youtube channels with more subscribers who are lucky to generate a minimum wage income for the year.
So keep this concept in mind going forward. It may really be a game-changer for you.
Create A Routine And Stick To It
You’ve probably heard this concept before. It’s nothing new. But like everything Sam talks about, he seems to have his own unique stamp on it that makes it fresh and appealing.
Sam is not unique here. A lot of money-making and productivity experts, like Dan Lok, Charles Ngo, and Stefan James espouse the importance of routines in productivity.
I am always amazed at how structured these people are. For example, Sam awakes the same time every day (around 6 am), showers, meditates, works out, and then starts his work day.
His whole schedule for the day is planned out the night before, even his meals. He goes through each activity systematically, which is organized down to the minute.
Sam starts his work day at 9 am and doesn’t stop working until 9 pm at night. He of course takes a 30-45-minute break for lunch. After he finishes working, he showers, spends time with his wife and goes to bed around 11 pm.
The man is very systematic about his whole life. He works like this for six days a week, only taking off on Sunday. Monday morning it’s back to the same schedule.
Even on a yearly basis, Sam plans out his time. Every 90 days (or every quarter) he takes a week vacation with his wife. When on vacation, and on off days, he does no work at all. Sam won’t even look at emails, take calls, or respond to anything.
Now, he does have a team that can handle business for him. If you don’t have a team, it might be difficult to do, but it may be worth it to copy Sam. He seems to have real piece of mind in his life and sets tight boundaries; apparently it’s working well for him.
This type of 12-hour a day, 6-days per week work schedule has become an excellent habit in Sam’s life. In conjunction with his work out schedule, meditation sessions, excellent eating habits, and quality time with his wife, it seems like he has all the bases covered.
In my own life, I don’t use a routine, but I do have habits. It’s important to distinguish between the two before talking more about it.
A routine is a series of behaviors that you carry out the same time every day (or almost every day).
For example, waking up the same time, working the same time, and going to bed the same time is a routine. A habit is a single activity that you perform every day (or almost every day) that can be done any time.
We can see then, that a routine is a series of habits performed at the same time every day. By doing so, one’s life becomes systemized and production maximized.
I’m very much in tune with this. However, I’ve not been able to create a routine in my own life. This is due to problems with discipline (Sam addresses this in his course) and because my work schedule can vary.
Still, it would be fantastic to incorporate a routine in my life. Sam does deep, focused work for almost 12 hours per day, 6 days per week. That’s almost 72 hours of work per week. That’s really the secret to his success – besides being incredibly smart and informed.
I’d love to work as much as Sam Ovens. But I don’t know if I physically have it in me to work that long for week-after-week and month-after-month.
Sam has a solution for that too. He suggests starting with less hours and building up from there. Everything he does easily now used to be difficult for him at one time.
He believes all habits and actions are like muscles. You need to build them up and work on them. I agree, again, with him.
People like Sam are a true inspiration. I love how transparent he is about his life and schedule.
Just know, if you live doing things randomly and at a whim, you’re not likely to be successful. Instead, consider forming a routine, especially around your work.
If you’re serious about your business and making money, creating a routine and sticking to it could be the most important thing you could do. That’s why I believe this is the most important take away from Sam’s course.
I’ll conclude with this. In one of his Facebook live calls, a client asked Sam this: “If you could only advise someone of one thing to be successful, what would that one thing be?”. I thought it a great question.
Sam pondered for a few moments, as he usually does on thought-provoking questions. He answered with, “just do the work”. I think that take away is just as important.
It’s true. People get caught up in everything but actually sitting down and doing the work. Sam told the client to just sit down, go through the course chronologically, and complete the exercises laid out.
“There’s really no secret,” Sam said. “Do the work,” he repeated again. I agree with Sam. The reason people fail with online courses is because they don’t go through the entire program and do the work.
It’s amazing to think someone would pay $2,000 for a course and not complete it. But it does happen.
I hope you learned something from this blog post. These are the five biggest takeaways I got from the Sam Oven’s Consulting Accelerator course.
If any of them strike a chord with you, give them a shot. And remember: nothing gets done unless you do the work. Cheers!